Prompt: 100 words on water. Give it a shot and tag us on Tumblr, Instagram, or Twitter & we’ll show you some love!


Bright summer nails look like bits of coral floating through the water, I think, as my hand grazes the lake. I wipe five coral fingers on my melon shirt. Solo wears orange so I wear orange. Vibrant hues equal happiness. But where in the world is Frank Ocean? And where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Like, where in the world can I be guaranteed zero screen time? We place our phones at the edge of the picnic blanket in sheepish unison. She spills out the contents of her brown paper bag. A tiny rose quartz stone, a bit of amethyst, and a single Mexican peacock ore splay themselves between us. After a few sips of a fruity sparkly something purchased in a sleek glass bottle, she shares a fleeting interest in getting her cards read and I avoid reaching for my cellular device to find the nearest location. I simply nod and examine our findings.


I wanted to be like the mangroves—their seed pods swept away by the ocean, the natural rhythms of the earth taking them to the right sandy shore where they could lay down their roots. But you didn’t know about the mangroves, their gnarled, turning branches, growing up out of the ocean. You said we did not need to wait for the ebbs of the waves to travel and live and love. There are birds that will fly you there, arms that will carry, hands that will hold on until your roots are ready.


2giphy.gifAccording to experts, we should be drinking three litres of water per day to maintain good health; that’s just over five pints. I tried it out, of course, but the water here tastes funny so I added orange squash. Lying in bed at night, I could feel the liquid sloshing back and forth in my stomach. Glug, glug, glug. It made me think of Blueberry Violet. What if I were to swell up like a giant citrus fruit? Off to the Juicing Room! they’d shout. And then I quit, because I’d rather be in bad health than be freshly squeezed.


They say the water will wash me clean of all my sins and transgressions. All my pain and sorrow immediately replaced with peace.

I’ll be a new person. I’ll be born again.

They sing a hymn about the blood and cleansing as the reverend pinches my nose and dips me under the water.

Standing me back up on my feet, he says that I’m a brand new person. A child of God.

I don’t feel no different though. Maybe it just takes some time for the water to do its job.


Living is an ever-drowning thing. You say anger makes you powerful but your teeth are growing thinner with each hurt you gulp in full. It doesn’t go down like water, or sea. It is sand, always just behind your lip. Making even the kindest of words feel like a grinding tug. What is good if everything hurts? What is soaking in the blood of those who love you if it does nothing but leave you wine-stained and aching? Drink tea of lavender and go about your day deep-moaning and coaxing succulents back to life with your own saliva. Maybe they will better learn to breathe.


Vagabond City Literary Journal

Founded in 2013, we are a literary journal dedicated to publishing outsider literature. We publish art, prose, reviews, and interviews from marginalized creators.